Action Plus Emotion Fuel S.W.A.T. Showrunner's Timeless Vision

Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and actor Kenny Johnson pose on the SWAT set

EP Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and S.W.A.T. star Kenneth "Kenny" Johnson

Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Showrunner Aaron Rahsaan Thomas pushed S.W.A.T. into a new era and a real place

By Fred Schruers

When Aaron Rahsaan Thomas set out to reboot the legendary pulp classic of a mid-'70s cop show called S.W.A.T., there was a key and specific change he began with: "A lot of people may not realize this," he says, "but the original show was not set in Los Angeles, but in a fictional city.

"The very first S.W.A.T. team was created in Los Angeles, the city that has perhaps the most notorious relationship between their police department and communities of color. I feel like if you're going to tell that story, you lean right into that—what is the reality of a Black police officer in the city of Los Angeles?"

S.W.A.T. airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Stream anytime on Paramount+.

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